Your brain on holidays
We often associate travel with happiness and fulfilment, but Ms Bagley-Jones says it’s not the holiday location that brought you joy. It’s the attitude you had while you were there.
“When we’re on holidays, we have a more upbeat mood, we care less about the trivial things in our life, we focus more on the beauty around us and we’re not so bound to routine,” she says.
“And that, you can duplicate in every situation. You can take that everywhere you go.”
See if there’s something you enjoyed doing on holidays that you can make part of your usual routine.
Holidays do us a lot of good at the cognitive level, Ms Bagley-Jones adds. We’re often getting better sleep, we’re eating better and we’re not getting the same prompts towards negative thoughts.
“That freedom from stress is extremely good for your wellbeing.
“On a chemical level you’re operating in a far more effective way, which is why you want it to be part of daily living.”
So how do you help your brain replicate the happiness you felt on holidays? Here are Ms Bagley-Jones’ top five tips
1. Make the memories last
Putting visual prompts that remind you of the fun you had on holidays around the house can help your mind return to those positive thoughts, Ms Bagley-Jones says.
She also suggests maintaining some of the different habits that you really enjoyed.
“Print those photos out and put them in frames around the place. Keep all of the things you really loved about the holiday, take them back with you.
“If you really enjoyed playing board games with the family, keep doing that once a week.”
Some of us feel guilty indulging ourselves when we’re not on a break, Ms Bagley-Jones says, but scattering little luxuries into everyday life, like a long bath or an impromptu beach trip, is good for wellbeing.